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Assorted Salutes (BOOTLEG)

In pyrotechnics a salute is a device primarily designed to make a loud report (a bang). Most if not all salutes have a very bright flash and are made from many different formulas depending on the manufacturer. They may have aluminum, antimony, titanium or other metals added in a flake form for added spark effects. Adding metals in anything larger than flake form is considered a weapon or a pipe bomb and should never be tried. The salute may be fired on the ground (ground salute) or launched from a mortar as a shell (aerial salute). Salutes are one of the more dangerous type of fireworks. "Mortar tubes" used to launch aerial salutes in commercial firework displays vary from 1.75 inch diameter up to 8 inch diameter.


All ground salutes over 50mg and air salutes over 130mg have been restricted by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Child Protection Act of 1966. Most air and ground salutes are made with flash powder but earlier salutes, known as the "cannon cracker" were always black powder. 99.9% of all salutes today are made of some type of variable flash powder formula. A 100 gram black powder "cannon cracker" vs. a 100 gram flash "salute" is not even comparable. Their destructive force is non equivalent. The burn rate and destructive force of black powder is dependent on milling/grinding, confinement/pressure and has a tendency to throw or push all surrounding items with in the blast wave. Where as anything within the same vicinity of a flash powder blast radius will be atomized. Take mortar shells, fire arms or military cannons for instance where gun powder or BP black powder is used as a launch or a lift to send shell or bullet in said direction. Black powder will not destroy the launching barrel but flash powder will......ALWAYS!

Comparison to dynamite[edit]

Though both news reporters and black-market dealers have compared the M-80 to a 1/4 stick of dynamite, truthfully, the 2 are not even equivalent and don't even come close in comparison. For reference, a typical stick of dynamite contains over 10 times more explosive material than an M-80 (35 grams of nitroglycerin versus 3 grams of KCLO4/AL). Nitroglycerin detonates i.e. explodes with a shock wave that moves faster than the speed of sound, where as flash powder or black powder used in fireworks deflagrate i.e. (burn) at a rate below the speed of sound. Detonation and deflagration is the difference between high & low explosive.

Cherry Bomb[edit]

Cherry Bomb (BOOTLEG)
  • 1/2" to 5/8" Inner Diameter
  • 3/4" to 1" Outer Diameter
  • Color: Colors were variable throughout the industry but most common are several variations of red like dark red, magenta, maroon or pink.
  • 1 Gram of flash

Also known as kraft salutes, these are made of paper cup sets, coated with several layers of sawdust and animal hide glue (or sodium silicate), often finished with a reddish dye (Sudan Red).[1] The process of coating Kraft salute casings in order to make them round is called panning. The glued casings are tumbled with sawdust while sodium silicate solution is slowly added to the pan. Historically, the core contained a perchlorate, sulfur, and antimony sulfide mixture. Some manufacturers added Aluminum and/or Magnesium Dioxide to this mixture. As sighted by "How to Make Exploding Fireworks by, John Donner", "KENT FIREWORKS" added a small red or green star to their mixture for a color effect. Wax-coated drill bits were used for safety purposes when drilling the fuse hole.

FORMULA #1 : 50% KNO3 Potassium Nitrate/30% S Sulfur/20% Bright Al Aluminum Comments: This is a relatively safe flash composition. Burns with a brilliant white light in an open tube, or when unconfined. When well confined, it produces a loud, low pitched report and a short but intense flash. Thick end plugs required.

FORMULA #2 : 50% KCLO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 27% Sulfur powder/ 23% Dark German or Indian aluminum powder (Anything under 4 micron for BEST results). Comments: This is a relatively safe formula that is more powerful than the standard formula but should not be used by first time flash producers, atleast being proficient is best. This produces a low/medium pitched report with a nice pressure wave. Thick end plugs may or may not be a requirement depending on the manufacturer of this formula.

FORMULA #3 : 70% KLCO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 30% Dark German Aluminum or Indian Aluminum powder. The easiest flash powder formula to make. A very standard pyrotechnic composition used in the industry of fireworks. Thick end plugs are never a requirement with this composition.

Silver Salute / Ash Can / Atomic Salute[edit]

Atomic Salutes (BOOTLEG)
  • 1-1/2" Long
  • 1/2" Inner Diameter
  • 10/16" Outer Diameter
  • Color: Silver with "DO NOT HOLD IN HAND" label
  • Originals 1.5 grams of flash
  • Bootlegger 1.5-5 grams of flash

Silver Salute/Ash Cans were silver, 1-1/2" long and 1/2" in diameter. Around the outside of the tube was printed "DO NOT HOLD IN HAND" in small capital letters in a continuous spiral. Each tube was covered with a dozen warning labels. The ends of the tubes were plugged with either hot glue, sodium silicate /calcium carbonate cement or paper end plugs. Holes were made smaller than the fuse so that the fuse could be twirled in for better adhesion with a small dab of glue. CAUTION: The cement plugged version pose a hazard due to their highly sparing use of cement plugging. Re-enforced plugging if found is advised.

Atomic Salutes were identical but more stout without a label and carried 1.5 grams of flash. These oldies can be found on Great American Fireworks display posters via internet or various fireworks pyrobillia websites. Bootleg versions have been found carrying a whooping 5 grams of flash, no where near as tame as the originals and a lot more powerful than the M-80.

FORMULA #1 : 50% KNO3 Potassium Nitrate/30% S Sulfur/20% Bright Al Aluminum Comments: This is a relatively safe flash composition. Burns with a brilliant white light in an open tube, or when unconfined. When well confined, it produces a loud, low pitched report and a short but intense flash. Thick end plugs required.

FORMULA #2 : 50% KCLO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 27% Sulfur powder/ 23% Dark German or Indian aluminum powder (Anything under 4 micron for BEST results). Comments: This is a relatively safe formula that is more powerful than the standard formula but should not be used by first time flash producers, atleast being proficient is best. This produces a low/medium pitched report with a nice pressure wave. Thick end plugs may or may not be a requirement depending on the manufacturer of this formula.

FORMULA #3 : 70% KLCO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 30% Dark German Aluminum or Indian Aluminum powder. The easiest flash powder formula to make. A very standard pyrotechnic composition used in the industry of fireworks. Thick end plugs are never a requirement with this composition.

END PLUGS  : can be made from a variety of materials such as paper, plastic, resin, hot glue or (fast-set packaging hot glue.)

M-80[edit]

M-80's (BOOTLEG)

Mini

  • 1-1/2" Long
  • 9/16" Inner Diameter
  • 11/16" Outer Diameter
  • Color: Glossy Red
  • 2.5 Grams of flash

Standard

  • 1-1/2" Long
  • 5/8" Inner Diameter
  • 3/4" Outer Diameter
  • Color: Flat Red
  • 3 grams of flash

Consumers beware, all items sold today in legit fireworks stores nationwide with paper labels that say: "M-80, M-98, M-90, M-600" are not real M-80's but total gimmicks. They may come in the same dimensions but do not carry 3 grams of flash powder. Some 1-1/2"x 5/8" tubes have even been found carrying a small lady finger cracker inside surrounded by clay and then more paper. They do not pack 3 grams of flash and do not even exceed 50 milligrams 99.9% of the time. Vintage M-80's, the commercial and military grade ones, are so rare you would be very lucky to find any today. Bootleg's are typically all that's available now. In Mexico, these salutes are called "Barrenos".

(MILITARY M-80 VS CIVILIAN M-80) Originally the M-80 was a military training device designed to simulate small arms fire in basic training. The "M-80's" designation was a military product identification code number. The U.S. government contracted with several fireworks makers to produce these hefty salutes. Military issue M-80's are made from a plain brown craft paper tube 1-1/2" long and 9/16" diameter, fitted with a thick stiff, green Visco fuse and packaged in boxes of 50. Each Salute bears the words "M-80 Firecracker" and the date of manufacture "4-64". Careful dissection reveals that each firecracker is double plugged at each end with a paper end plug and disk cap. Military M-80's packed a full load of 80 grains which is equivalent to 5.2 grams of flash powder. "M" for Military and "80" for 80 grains. These differ from most flash salutes, which function optimally with some airspace and loose powder. Perhaps this was done because of some government specification that had little to do with performance or perhaps they knew something others did not. After World War II THE M-80 was marketed as a fireworks item for civilian use. The first ones on the market were war surplus. When some of the fireworks dealers saw how well they were received by the public, they began making civilian copies. These copies were sold by the millions in the 1950s and 1960s. The usual civilian M-80 had a red tube of the original dimensions, bearing the words "M-80 FIRECRACKER DO NOT HOLD IN HAND" printed on the outside in bold letters.


MILITARY FORMULA:

  • potassium perchlorate KCLO
    4
    64%
  • bright pyro aluminum Al 22.5%
  • sulfur S 10%
  • antimony sulfide Sb
    2
    S
    3
    3.5%

FORMULA #1 : 50% KNO3 Potassium Nitrate/30% S Sulfur/20% Bright Al Aluminum Comments: This is a relatively safe flash composition. Burns with a brilliant white light in an open tube, or when unconfined. When well confined, it produces a loud, low pitched report and a short but intense flash. Thick end plugs required.

FORMULA #2 : 50% KCLO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 27% Sulfur powder/ 23% Dark German or Indian aluminum powder (Anything under 4 micron for BEST results). Comments : This is a relatively safe formula that is more powerful than the standard formula but should not be used by first time flash producers, atleast being proficient is best. This produces a low/medium pitched report with a nice pressure wave. Thick end plugs may or may not be a requirement depending on the manufacturer of this formula.

FORMULA #3 : 70% KLCO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 30% Dark German Aluminum or Indian Aluminum powder. The easiest flash powder formula to make. A very standard pyrotechnic composition used in the industry of fireworks. Thick end plugs are never a requirement with this composition.

END PLUGS  : can be made from a variety of materials such as paper, plastic, resin, hot glue or (fast-set packaging hot glue.)

Super M-80 / Double M-80[edit]

Super M-80 (BOOTLEG)
  • 3" Long
  • 9/16" Inner Diameter
  • 11/16" Outer Diameter
  • Color: Glossy Red
  • 6 grams of flash

Double the power of an M-80 hence the name "Double M-80" or "Super M-80"

FORMULA #1 : 50% KNO3 Potassium Nitrate/30% S Sulfur/20% Bright Al Aluminum Comments: This is a relatively safe flash composition. Burns with a brilliant white light in an open tube, or when unconfined. When well confined, it produces a loud, low pitched report and a short but intense flash. Thick end plugs required.

FORMULA #2 : 50% KCLO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 27% Sulfur powder/ 23% Dark German or Indian aluminum powder (Anything under 4 micron for BEST results). Comments: This is a relatively safe formula that is more powerful than the standard formula but should not be used by first time flash producers, atleast being proficient is best. This produces a low/medium pitched report with a nice pressure wave. Thick end plugs may or may not be a requirement depending on the manufacturer of this formula.

FORMULA #3 : 70% KLCO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 30% Dark German Aluminum or Indian Aluminum powder. The easiest flash powder formula to make. A very standard pyrotechnic composition used in the industry of fireworks. Thick end plugs are never a requirement with this composition.

END PLUGS  : can be made from a variety of materials such as paper, plastic, resin, hot glue or (fast-set packaging hot glue.)

M-100[edit]

M-100's (BOOTLEG)
  • 2 1/8" Long
  • 3/4" Inner Diameter
  • 7/8 to 1" Outer Diameter
  • Color: RWB, Kraft or Red
  • 10 grams of flash

Popularly referred to as the "M-1000" in California but still referred to as "M-100" everywhere else in the United States. Not to be confused with "M-1000 / Full Stick". For details please click on "Full Stick / M-1000's" in the context box above. "California M-1000's" are more popular than the M-80 due to their water resistant quality, high power and pocket size. The top plug and fuse are essentially made in the same step - see photo on right>.

FORMULA #1 : 50% KNO3 Potassium Nitrate/30% S Sulfur/20% Bright Al Aluminum Comments: This is a relatively safe flash composition. Burns with a brilliant white light in an open tube, or when unconfined. When well confined, it produces a loud, low pitched report and a short but intense flash. Thick end plugs required.

FORMULA #2 : 50% KCLO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 27% Sulfur powder/ 23% Dark German or Indian aluminum powder (Anything under 4 micron for BEST results). Comments: This is a relatively safe formula that is more powerful than the standard formula but should not be used by first time flash producers, at least being proficient is best. This produces a low/medium pitched report with a nice pressure wave. Thick end plugs may or may not be a requirement depending on the manufacturer of this formula.

FORMULA #3 : 70% KLCO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 30% Dark German Aluminum or Indian Aluminum powder. The easiest flash powder formula to make. A very standard pyrotechnic composition used in the industry of fireworks. Thick end plugs are never a requirement with this composition.

END PLUGS  : can be made from a variety of materials such as paper, plastic, resin, hot glue or (fast-set packaging hot glue.)

Block Buster[edit]

Standard Block Buster (BOOTLEG)

Standard Block Buster

  • 2 1/8" Long
  • 3/4" Inner Diameter
  • 1" Outer Diameter
  • Color: Red
  • 0.5 gram titanium flake
  • 7 Grams of flash

Large Block Buster

  • 2-1/2" Long
  • 1" Inner Diameter
  • 1-1/4" Outer Diameter
  • Color: Red
  • 1 gram titanium flake
  • 14 Grams of flash

A block buster is a titanium salute to be lit on the ground rather than shot into the air. A"titanium salute" is a flash powder explosive that contains small flakes of titanium metal that produce a short but intense shower of white sparks. The effect is most commonly seen in pro display 1.3 salute shell fireworks. Block Busters are most popular on the East Coast United States. Most titanium salutes: air and ground will have titanium flakes loosely mixed with flash but sometimes tubes will be doped up from the inside with a special glue before dunked in a bowl of titanium flakes. Titanium will adhere to the inner wall for an aerial donut effect. This may be done in block busters as well depending on the manufacturer. Adding metals in anything larger than flake form is considered a weapon or pipe bomb and should never be tried. The larger block busters may resemble a quarter stick of dynamite but 14 grams of flash powder comes no where near the power of 14 grams of nitroglycerin.

FORMULA #1 : 50% KNO3 Potassium Nitrate/30% S Sulfur/20% Bright Al Aluminum Comments: This is a relatively safe flash composition. Burns with a brilliant white light in an open tube, or when unconfined. When well confined, it produces a loud, low pitched report and a short but intense flash. Thick end plugs required.

FORMULA #2 : 50% KCLO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 27% Sulfur powder/ 23% Dark German or Indian aluminum powder (Anything under 4 micron for BEST results). Comments: This is a relatively safe formula that is more powerful than the standard formula but should not be used by first time flash producers, atleast being proficient is best. This produces a low/medium pitched report with a nice pressure wave. Thick end plugs may or may not be a requirement depending on the manufacturer of this formula.

FORMULA #3 : 70% KClO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 30% Dark German Aluminum or Indian Aluminum powder. The easiest flash powder formula to make. A very standard pyrotechnic composition used in the industry of fireworks. Thick end plugs are never a requirement with this composition.

END PLUGS  : can be made from a variety of materials such as paper, plastic, resin, hot glue or (fast-set packaging hot glue.)

Quarter Stick / M-250[edit]

Quarter Sticks (BOOTLEG)

Skinny

  • 3-1/2" Long
  • 3/4" Inner Diameter
  • 1" Outer Diameter
  • Color: RWB, Red, Tan, Silver or Blue
  • 15 grams of flash

Fat

  • 2-1/2" Long
  • 1" Inner Diameter
  • 1-1/4" Outer Diameter
  • Color: RWB, Red, Tan or Silver
  • 15 Grams of flash

A 1/4 Stick is a ground salute known to carry 15 grams of flash powder resembling a quarter stick of dynamite.

FORMULA #1 : 50% KNO3 Potassium Nitrate/30% S Sulfur/20% Bright Al Aluminum Comments: This is a relatively safe flash composition. Burns with a brilliant white light in an open tube, or when unconfined. When well confined, it produces a loud, low pitched report and a short but intense flash. Thick end plugs required.

FORMULA #2 : 50% KCLO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 27% Sulfur powder/ 23% Dark German or Indian aluminum powder (Anything under 4 micron for BEST results). Comments: This is a relatively safe formula that is more powerful than the standard formula but should not be used by first time flash producers, at least being proficient is best. This produces a low/medium pitched report with a nice pressure wave. Thick end plugs may or may not be a requirement depending on the manufacturer of this formula.

FORMULA #3 : 70% KClO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 30% Dark German Aluminum or Indian Aluminum powder. The easiest flash powder formula to make. A very standard pyrotechnic composition used in the industry of fireworks. Thick end plugs are never a requirement with this composition.

END PLUGS  : can be made from a variety of materials such as paper, plastic, resin, hot glue or (fast-set packaging hot glue.)

Half Stick / M-500[edit]

Half Stick/M-500 (BOOTLEG)
  • 4" to 6" Long
  • 3/4" to 1" Inner Diameter
  • 1" to 1-1/4" Outer Diameter
  • Color: Tan, RWB, Red or Silver
  • 30 grams of flash

A half stick is a ground salute known to carry double that of its predecessor resembling a half stick of dynamite.

FORMULA #1 : 50% KNO3 Potassium Nitrate/30% S Sulfur/20% Bright Al Aluminum Comments: This is a relatively safe flash composition. Burns with a brilliant white light in an open tube, or when unconfined. When well confined, it produces a loud, low pitched report and a short but intense flash. Thick end plugs required.

FORMULA #2 : 50% KCLO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 27% Sulfur powder/ 23% Dark German or Indian aluminum powder (Anything under 4 micron for BEST results). Comments: This is a relatively safe formula that is more powerful than the standard formula but should not be used by first time flash producers, at least being proficient is best. This produces a low/medium pitched report with a nice pressure wave. Thick end plugs may or may not be a requirement depending on the manufacturer of this formula.

FORMULA #3 : 70% KClO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 30% Dark German Aluminum or Indian Aluminum powder. The easiest flash powder formula to make. A very standard pyrotechnic composition used in the industry of fireworks. Thick end plugs are never a requirement with this composition.

END PLUGS  : can be made from a variety of materials such as paper, plastic, resin, hot glue or (fast-set packaging hot glue.)

Full Stick / M-1000[edit]

60 Gram Full Stick/ M-1000 (BOOTLEG)
100 Gram Full Stick/ M-1000 (BOOTLEG)
  • 6" Long
  • 1 1/2" Inner Diameter
  • 1-1/4" Outer Diameter
  • Color: Glossy Red
  • 60 grams of flash
  • 60 grams is usual for this tube diameter when filled 2/3-3/4 of the way.

or

  • 4-1/2" Long
  • 2" Inner Diameter
  • 2 1/4" Outer Diameter
  • Color: Blue. Red, Yellow, Green, Pink, Tan & other
  • 100 grams of flash
  • 100 grams is usual for this tube diameter when filled 2/3-3/4 of the way.

A full stick M-1000 is a ground salute known to carry double or more the amount of a half stick resembling a full stick of dynamite.

FORMULA #1 : 50% KNO3 Potassium Nitrate/30% S Sulfur/20% Bright Al Aluminum Comments: This is a relatively safe flash composition. Burns with a brilliant white light in an open tube, or when unconfined. When well confined, it produces a loud, low pitched report and a short but intense flash. Thick end plugs required.

FORMULA #2 : 50% KCLO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 27% Sulfur powder/ 23% Dark German or Indian aluminum powder (Anything under 4 micron for BEST results). Comments: This is a relatively safe formula that is more powerful than the standard formula but should not be used by first time flash producers, at least being proficient is best. This produces a low/medium pitched report with a nice pressure wave. Thick end plugs may or may not be a requirement depending on the manufacturer of this formula.

FORMULA #3 : 70% KLCO4 Potassium Perchlorate/ 30% Dark German Aluminum or Indian Aluminum powder. The easiest flash powder formula to make. A very standard pyrotechnic composition used in the industry of fireworks. Thick end plugs are never a requirement with this composition.

END PLUGS  : can be made from a variety of materials such as paper, plastic, resin, hot glue or (fast-set packaging hot glue.)

(Class B) Salutes[edit]

  • As opposed to federally banned salutes, these items are legally available only to licensed pyrotechnicians for use in professional fireworks displays.
  • Available in sizes ranging from 1.75" to 8" diameter. Although only available to licensed pyrotechnicians, products have found their way into the black market. Most common are the 2 INCH DS1 & 3 INCH SALUTE SHELLS.
  • Other salutes available to licensed pyrotechnicians may come in multi-fire cakes with labels such as "25 -100 Shot Thunder King."

References[edit]

  1. ^ T. Davis, The Chemistry of Powder and Explosives, Angriff Press, 1972. ISBN 0-913022-00-4

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salute_(pyrotechnics) — Please support Wikipedia.
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